Welfare State Ideiology

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The welfare state may be considered as an ideological state apparatus which serves to secure the legitimacy of continued inequalities in capitalist societies. Discuss Most industrialised and industrialising countries in the world today are welfare states. These states play a central role in the provision of welfare through a system that offers services and benefits that meet people’s basic needs such as healthcare, education, housing and income. The role of a welfare state involves managing the risks faced by people over the course of their lives for example sickness, disability, job loss and even old age. The services provided by welfare states differ from country to country, some have highly developed systems than others (Giddens, 2009). In most societies, poverty and social exclusion at the bottom are alleviated by the welfare states. This essay is therefore going to discuss how these welfare states use ideological state apparatus to secure legitimacy of continued inequalities in capitalist societies. Ideology can be defined as shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify the interests of dominant groups” Giddens (1997:583). Its relationship to power is that it legitimizes the differential power that groups hold and as such it distorts the real situation that people find themselves in. According to the definition it is clear that ideology is formed by those who control economic as well as political power. Ideology has been a major determinant of social policy both before and after independence. During the colonial period, colonial governments adopted both the laissez-faire and liberal ideologies. The laissez-faire ideology was closely associated with social policies targeted at the African population whilst the liberal ideology was largely responsible for shaping social policies targeted at the white population. Ideology became a major determinant of social
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